Wednesday, May 1, 2013

3 Months Update: I Run Faster Than a Muskrat Swims!

I jogged 5K around Lake Calhoun today.

That's 3.1 miles.

This marks my three (3!)-month anniversary of running.

It's May 1, but I'm wearing wool here because some sleety snow-like precipitation is falling, spring be damned.

I'd jogged 3 miles last month, once, but today still feels like a milestone, even though I doubt I went any faster.

But the run felt ...easier.

Not that it was "easy," exactly, to run 5K---I mean, it took some effort, but I absolutely knew (in my body) that I could finish easily, and that's a nice feeling.

Plus, I ran past a muskrat swimming in the same direction.
"I can run faster than a swimming muskrat!" I thought to myself.

I looked it up when I got home:
The Dept. of Natural Resources says muskrats swim 2 to 3 miles/hour (which is Olympic-athlete fast for swimming).

I'm encouraged because I've signed up for my first 5K "fun run" on June 1.
That's about 5 weeks from now.
I got a copy of Runner's World from the library that advertises on the cover, "5 Weeks to Your First 5-K Training Plan."

Talk about false advertising:
the article inside is really titled "Time for a Fast 5-K" and is about training to run 5K in faster than 30, 25, or 20 minutes.
Come on!
I am hoping to break 45 minutes!

No, actually, I'm hoping for 45 minutes.
(MOSTLY I'm hoping I won't injure my knees or any other part of me. If I did manage it in 44 minutes, though, I would feel downright athletic.)

The article also says, "There's no room in your training plan for mindless running."
Mindless running is my training plan.

Bad memories of Running Class no.1:
on the second night, the teacher handed us stop-watches.
I said, "Oh, no! Not math!"

But yes, math:
If you have to run 14 times around a track to complete 1 mile,
how fast do you have to run each lap to run a 13:40 min. mile?

I admit it was kind of fun to pay so much attention to running, to try to coordinate my pace to the clock, but it's not what I want to do regularly, especially not as the baby beginner I am––and maybe never.

I do vary my pace when I run--I add in some sprints; I jog up and down any hills I come by ("jogging" here meaning trudging-and-gasping); I walk a bit every so often.
But I'm glad that I can achieve mindless running--it took me almost 3 months to be able to trot long enough that my brain turns off.
P.S. I want to note that I have not lost any weight, after jogging 2-3 times a week for 3 months.
The fat-muscle machine at the YW did say I'd gained muscle after 2 months, so that's great. But I'm going to stop looking at scales: they're not a good indicator of how I'm doing.

Come as you are, and race the swimming muskrat, I say!

1 comment:

deanna said...

I jogged outdoors for ten years, and now I go on my treadmill whenever I can. I was slow out there on the street, but happy (now my hips and knees prefer the cushier treadmill). The one 5-K I did found me trotting somewhere between the last runner and the first walker, which embarrassed me at the time, but I look back on it as a fun day, especially while giving cheerful comments to those putting on the race (they work hard).

I didn't lose weight, either, but my legs gained a better shape, and I found jogging to be good training for hiking mountain trails.

Keep enjoying.